Without giving up your rights, and with professional help to navigate the complexity of the divorce process, you can achieve dissolution of your marriage, without adding to the stress and minimizing the expense. It’s called divorce mediation and it’s available to anyone.
Mediating a divorce allows a couple to retain full control of the outcome, both as to custody and care of any children, and also as to the property settlement. A mediated divorce is done with the assistance of an attorney-mediator. If other professionals are needed, the mediator will suggest them.
A mediated divorce usually consists of several meetings with the attorney-mediator. During those meetings, you and your spouse discuss the issues that need to be resolved. The attorney-mediator is there to help, offer information and suggestions, and use specialized training to assist the two of you to write up an agreement fair to both of you, and in the best interests of any children.
Today, most divorces are treated as litigation battles, ending with a decision by a judge. A divorce is already on the Top Five list of stressful events in a person’s life. A court battle only makes it worse. It can also be very expensive. Some people opt for a do-it-yourself divorce, sometimes with the assistance of a Legal Document Assistant. It is not expensive but it can be risky if there are contested issues with respect to the children or division of property.
A mediated divorce is the new and usually better way of getting it done. What’s more, most state courts strongly encourage it. While the legal system lets you waste your assets and tear each other apart if you wish, the judges know there is a better way – see the letter from the Los Angeles Family Law Court Supervising Judge on this site. A mediated divorce is a practical and healthy choice for divorcing couple. It helps avoid the stress of litigation, saves money, is both thorough and quick, yet offers all the professional help you may need to safeguard your rights and protect the children.
A mediated divorce is less expensive because it's faster and more direct. Most couples come to mediation willing to work on the issues and to learn how to communicate better. That means a less expensive divorce because agreement is always cheaper than trial. Though you may and probably will use lawyers, even in a mediated divorce, you only use them for a small fraction of the time that would be involved in litigation. Your lawyers are not spending hours in court waiting for the judge to hear your case or billing for numerous phone calls and every item of paperwork. When you’re using your lawyer, they are working on your case and helping to settle. Their fees are always lower in a mediated divorce than in a litigated divorce ending in trial.
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